Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet member for Education, Skills & Culture, talks about how we must work together to provide jobs and opportunities for the most vulnerable, as we emerge from the pandemic.
She states: “The impact of Covid-19 on our city has been huge, particularly employment opportunities. Inevitably and sadly, those hit the hardest are the already low paid, young people just starting out in life, and women.
“It is great to see the economy is opening up, but this isn’t simply about being able to go to the pub and shops and see your friends – great though that is. We need to ensure that those most severely affected by lockdowns get the help they need. While this is clearly something the city council cannot do on its own, what we can do is work with businesses and other employers to help ensure everyone has a chance to benefit from new jobs and skills opportunities.
That is why I was so pleased to attend a discussion recently, led by the city council, that looked at a jobs and skills recovery plan for Birmingham.
It brought together employers and businesses, community groups and colleges, among others across the city, to look at how we build a fair economy, empowering local communities and improving quality of life for everyone.
“As a city we have worked so well together throughout the pandemic, and this must continue.
We must all look at those short-term barriers that are preventing residents getting back into work, and we need to look at the longer-term, wider picture of how we improve skills in the city and develop career prospects.
“The city council’s cabinet recently approved the Covid-19 economic recovery strategy which addresses the needs of all parts of the city – local communities and businesses as well as inward investors, local centres as well as the city centre.
It sets out how we need to respond to the urgent problems facing the city: managing our transport systems, streets, and public spaces to cope with the pandemic; helping businesses to get through the crisis and people to find work and training; supporting families and the vulnerable. But we also need to be thinking about the longer-term issues: how will our economy change and what sort of city do we want to see in the future?
“We remain open for investment and development and the council will play its part in unlocking the vital projects that will provide homes, jobs and opportunities for our young and growing population. I know that together we will deliver a cleaner, greener and fairer Birmingham.”